28 Feb 2022

High warrant failure rate must be addressed to help cut road toll - MTA

3:32 pm on 28 February 2022

The Motor Trade Association says Waka Kotahi needs to do more to improve the state of vehicles on New Zealand's roads.

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Warrant of Fitness vehicle inspection Photo: MTA

New Waka Kotahi figures from 2021 show an average fail rate of 40 percent on the first inspection for Warrants of Fitness across the country.

The Waikato region had the highest fail rate of 48 percent, closely followed by Gisborne and the Bay of Plenty at 47 percent.

Motor Trade Association repairers sector manager Graeme Swan said these figures were "massive" and a big concern for road safety.

He said it indicated thousands of vehicles weren't fit to be on the road by the time they were taken for their Warrant of Fitness.

These figures came as Waka Kotahi launched the Road to Zero campaign, which aims to reduce New Zealand's road toll to zero by 2050.

Swan said Waka Kotahi needed to address Warrant of Fitness failure rates within the campaign, because vehicle issues were a significant contributor to accidents.

"Vehicle-related factors contribute to around ten percent of the road toll," he said.

"And even if the crash is caused by other factors, such as driver error, common sense tells you that if your tyres have good tread and your brakes are working properly, you may have a better chance of avoiding an accident."

Swan told Midday Report the Motor Trade Association expected solutions to these problems to be included in Waka Kotahi's campaign from now on.

"What MTA would like to see is some messaging around maintaining your vehicles, and getting them in for their Warrant of Fitness whenever they're due."

Cars in New Zealand have an average age of 14.5 years, and Swan said maintenance issues would only worsen as vehicles wore out.

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